1. Completing an Organizational Overhaul
Organizational problems stem from Organizational structure. Pete understands that although the Sheriff’s Department is a police organization, it can still benefit from business organization management techniques. Utilizing the methods Pete not only learned while earning his business degree, but those he’s seen in action, will be the first item of business as Dallas County Sheriff. Effective on the first day of his term, a new organizational structure that mandates those is command positions have accountability will be implemented. Pete understands the importance of Civil Service, and will implement a new organizational structure and rules that are in accordance with the law, yet fair.
2. Planning for the Future
The Criminal Justice System is constantly changing. The Sheriff’s department must be cognizant of the needs of the entire justice system and have a long-term plan in place in Order to keep up with the needs of the criminal justice system and the law enforcement community. . This long term strategic plan, referred by Pete as the “SUCCESS 2030” plan, will be completed early on in Pete’s first term as Sheriff.
3. Fighting Crime in Dallas Co.
The Sheriff must understand the collateral consequences of his decisions on the entire criminal justice system. The police departments and the District Attorney do not share the full burden of reducing crime in our County. The Sheriff, as facilitator of the County jail system and the top law enforcement officer, has to be able to work with the District Attorney, the Commissioner’s Court, and other county leaders to think outside the box and come up with new ideas to fight crime. Pete is a big supporter of programs new District Attorney Craig Watkins is trying to implement, and will work with the DA to implement the programs. No one can do it alone. Pete vows to be a facilitator of new ideas, and to support other players in the criminal justice system in their quest of our common goal to reduce crime and make all of Dallas County a safe place to live and work.
Protecting our citizens from threats beyond our county lines is also the responsibility of the Sheriff. The Sheriff should utilize Department of Homeland Security funds and make improvements in our response infrastructure to protect our citizens. This includes better security at our county buildings and making sure that police agencies across the county and region can communicate effectively in the event of a catastrophic event.
4. Saving Taxpayers' Money
This point encompasses the entire operation of the sheriff’s department. Lew Sterrett, the County’s main jail facility, is utilized by all the police departments in the county, including the largest department, Dallas Police. When officers are booking in prisoners, they are taken off the street. Once the prisoners are processed, even those that are eligible to bond out of jail immediately do not get released for hours. It is not uncommon for misdemeanor offenders to wait 18 hours in jail before being released. This means that at least three meals need to be provided, medication needs to be given if necessary, and manpower is wasted holding individuals in our jail that should have been released hours before. There is no reason why Dallas County cannot streamline the book-in process and save tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
New technology should also be explored and implemented, including technology that can track prisoners through the jails. Inexpensive technology can be utilized to track prisoners where they are at all times, simply through a wrist band. This technology will limit mistakes and will facilitate quick release once bond is posted or time is served. The less time an inmate is in jail, the more money that is saved.
5. Establishing Trust
As the top law enforcement officer in the county, the Sheriff sets the tone for law enforcement county-wide. The Sheriff needs to be trusted by the citizens, and respected by the police chiefs in the County. Pete plans on having at least quarterly “Chief Roundtable” meetings with the heads of the 35+ law enforcement agencies in Dallas County to discuss issues that are unique to Dallas County law enforcement officers. While working together, Pete can facilitate cooperation among all police officers in the county, while making the county safer for all citizens. This also includes supporting efforts by cities in the same geographic area of the county to work together by establishing regional specialized police units and sharing of resources to provide the best protection for Dallas County Citizens.
Part of trust is also accountability and access to the Sheriff. Pete plans on having open and candid access with the public and the media. By allowing open transparent access to the Sheriff, Pete believes that the citizens are better served and protected.
THIS IS A GRASSROOTS EFFORT
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